Google Experience Phones: HTC One/GS4/OEM Skins?

Posted Jun 01, 2013 at 1:51 pm in Threads > Opinions

Hey guys,

As you may have heard already, the “Google Experience” (GE) Galaxy 4 and the HTC One have been confirmed and is arriving to the USA PlayStore by the end of June. I want to know how many of you are interested in getting one?

The announcement of these phones makes the Nexus game interesting. Because these two phones will be running stock and receiving updates directly from Google, you essentially have a Nexus phone. It might be updated slightly later than an official Nexus device, designed by Google, but these phones are going to the earlier ones to receive the OTA.

I have always complained about two things: intrusive/obstructive OEM skins and lack of micro-sd/removable battery on Nexus device (minus the Nexus One). With the release of the HTC “GE” One and Samsung “GE” S4, this has addressed an issues I have always had against Nexus devices. The GE S4 specifically will feature a removable, above-average battery and micro-sd availability; this two things are still something I always look for in a phone. The GE One will the sleekest, sexiest Nexus phone since the Nexus One (in my opinion), minus the battery and microsd. The HTC One is the best designed phone of the year, hands-down. These two phones are really filling the holes of all the potential customers Google didn’t get from their designed Nexus phones – addressing features and beauty.

Besides the fact that I live in Canada and it won’t be as easily available in my country, I think I will be skipping out on both. Why? You are paying approximately the same price as their unlocked OEM-skinned counter-parts at $600 and $650, for the HTC One and Galaxy S4 respectively, versus the $650 and $700 through carriers. HTC Sense and Touchwiz used to be extremely resource-hogging and slow. Nowadays, both skins complement Android and actually add to the Android experience. When testing my girlfriend’s HTC One, I found how much I enjoyed using Sense, with Blindfeed being the only aspect that needed improvements. On Touchwiz Nature UX, it is rather light versus ICS and Gingerbread versions: fast and adds many useful improvements to Android. By choosing the GE devices, you will be giving up on all of the camera software, IR blaster functionality, and finger-hover detection…etc. Personally, losing Zoe or Galaxy S4′s many camera features alone makes getting the GE phones not worthwhile because the OEM skins have become beneficial.

That’s my opinion. I want to hear what the A&Me’s community thinks of this. Are you seriously thinking about getting the new GE HTC One or GS4; or would you rather get their respective OEM-skinned counterparts?

  • uknowme

    I agree that to lose all the things that make these phones amazing sucks. I am more interested at what the developers can come up with.

  • SGB101

    I wouldn’t be bothered losing the touch wiz stuff, but the ultra pics software out if the HTC would be a huge loss.

    Hopefully HTC release the ultra pics software in the form of an app just for the One.

    I ha e lived with TW for about 8 months (note2) yesterday I put cm10.1n on and it feels much slicker and had a decent battery boots. Tho some of that maybe down to less apps installed atm.

  • CTown

    Why not just buy the Nexus version of these devices and just flash the non-Nexus firmware on it? The Nexus hardware is the same that hardware that AT&T gets except that the Nexus versions are SIM unlocked, have easily unlockable bootloaders, and are cheaper. It’s a great deal unless you are on T-Mo since they give you two interest free years to pay off your device!

  • thymeless

    The other thing is the high price these vanilla phones are going for. I’m more likely to pick one up off of Amazon or somewhere else and ROM it to my preferences.

    Hopefully, Motorola’s lowball pricing plan will put some reason into the pricing of these devices with some fierce competition.

    • MC_Android

      “low ball pricing plan”? Where was this reported? If it’s all made and manufactured in the USA, then don’t expect a cheap phone unless it’s going to be mid-range to low-end.

      The only really cheap phones unlocked are the recent Nexus phones because they are subsidized by Google. Remember that the Nexus One and (I believe) the Nexus S were not subsidized and costed about $500 to order unlocked

  • redraider133

    I’m on Verizon so I don’t have the option although I wouldn’t get them anyway. The skins slow updates yes but they add functionality that stock lacks mainly the camera software and sound enhancements on the htc one. Plus the phones are plenty fast even with the skins on top for me to really worry.